Packaging Recycles Ocean Plastic
Volume 11, Issue 1
In This Issue:
Packaging Recycles Ocean Plastic
Packaging used by Dell and Procter and Gamble now contains plastic litter recovered from oceans, waterways and beaches.
Recycled Board Replaces SBS
MasterWorks Ultra 100 Whiteback coated recycled board delivers the performance and appearance of solid bleached sulfate.
Also Featured In This Issue:
Packaging Recycles Ocean Plastic
Packaging used by Dell, Round Rock, TX, and Procter and Gamble, Cincinnati, Ohio, now contains plastic litter recovered from oceans, waterways and beaches, a first for the electronics and hair care categories, respectively.
P&G is using post-consumer-recycled (PCR) beach plastic in limited-edition bottles for Head & Shoulders shampoo sold in Carrefour stores in France. According to P&G, the bottles, produced with assistance from recycling experts such as TerraCycle, Trenton, NJ, and SUEZ, Paris, France, rank as the world’s largest production run of recyclable containers made from beach plastic, and mark a first major step in establishing a supply chain that involves the support of thousands of volunteers and hundreds of NGOs collecting plastic waste found on beaches.
“We felt that the leading shampoo brand in sales should lead in sustainability innovation and know that when we do this, it encourages the entire industry to do the same,” explains Lisa Jennings, vice president, Head & Shoulders and global hair care sustainability leader at P&G.
In addition, by the end of 2018, more than half a billion of P&G’s hair care product bottles in Europe will contain up to 25% PCR content. This represents more than 90% of all the hair care bottles sold in Europe across P&G’s hair care portfolio of brands like Pantene and Head & Shoulders. Including PCR content will consume 2,600 tons of recycled plastic every year – the same weight as eight fully loaded Boeing 747 jumbo jets. The expansion moves P&G closer to its Corporate 2020 goal of doubling the tonnage of PCR plastic used in packaging.
Dell plans to begin shipping its Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 computer in a tray made of 25% recycled ocean plastic content and 75% recycled high-density polyethylene on April 30, 2017. To encourage recycling, each tray will be stamped with the No. 2 recycling symbol. The packaging also includes educational information to raise global awareness and action on ocean ecosystem health solutions. The pilot program recycling plastics collected from waterways and beaches will keep 16,000 pounds of plastic from entering the ocean in 2017.
“This new packaging initiative demonstrates that there are real global business applications for ocean plastics that deliver positive results for our business and planet,” says Kevin Brown, chief supply chain officer at Dell.
The ocean plastics supply chain process consists of multiple stages: Dell’s partners intercept ocean plastics at the source in waterways, shorelines and beaches. The collected plastic is processed and refined and then mixed with recycled HDPE in a 25%/75% blend. The resulting recycled plastic flake is molded into the trays, which are shipped for final packaging and customer delivery.
Dell has a long history of incorporating sustainable and recycled materials into its products and packaging. Since 2008 it has included PCR plastics in its desktop systems, and as of January 2017, reached its 2020 goal of using 50 million pounds of recycled materials in its products. Increasingly, the company’s focus has been circular – where materials from someone else’s waste stream can be used as inputs into products and packaging. Dell was the first – and continues to be the only – to offer computers and monitors that contain e-waste plastics and recycled carbon fiber. Dell has published a white paper on sourcing strategies and plans to convene a cross-industry working group that will address ocean plastics on a global scale. “We look forward to working across industries for broader impact,” concludes Brown.
Recycled Board Replaces SBS
MasterWorks Ultra 100 Whiteback™ coated recycled board (CRB) delivers the performance and appearance of solid bleached sulfate (SBS) with 100% recycled content. The CRB from PaperWorks Industries, Bala Cynwyd, PA, combines the high brightness of a clay coating on two sides, high stiffness and low grain ratio so it processes like SBS. Available in calipers ranging from 0.012 to 0.030, the material offers improved strength-to-weight ratios compared to traditional CRB.
“PaperWorks has invested significant resources to create this proprietary technology,” reports Jerry Tassone, senior director of Sales and Marketing for PaperWorks Paperboard Group. He explains, “This includes a new machine ‘wet end’ using a fourdrinier process similar to that used in virgin SBS production….We are able to deliver the same machine direction versus cross-direction stiffness ratio of SBS so the product will run similarly on converting equipment and filling lines. We also have closed the gap in basis weight per caliper between traditional CRB and SBS, making MasterWorks Ultra 100 Whiteback a more economically competitive product.”
MasterWorks Ultra 100 Whiteback CRB is Food and Drug Administration-compliant for direct food content and meets the 100% recycled paperboard symbol licensing requirements of the 100% Recycled Paperboard Alliance, Fairfax, VA. The U.S.-manufactured board also is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council, Minneapolis, MN.
Henkel Eliminates Liner Waste
The Henkel Beauty Care business, Düsseldorf, Germany, cut label liner waste to zero in 2016. More than 400 tons (20 truckloads) of siliconized glassine label liner waste generated at its plant in Wassertrüdingen, Germany, was recycled through a partnership with UPM Raflatac, Tampere, Finland.
UPM Raflatac’s RafCycle program collects the release liner from Henkel and recycles it into printing paper for books and magazines at the UPM paper mill in Plattling, Germany.
“The partnership with UPM Raflatac reflects our belief that sustainability is inseparably linked to innovation and efficiency,” comments Greg Douglas, who works at Henkel in Business Development for Tapes, Labels, Coatings in Europe. “In our workshop with UPM Raflatac, our Henkel Laundry experts were able to develop additional ideas, setting the path for further improvements, especially in the field of new sustainable label design,” he concludes.
Green Packaging Continues To Grow
The global green packaging market generated revenue of $132,556 million in 2015 and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.41% to reach $207,543 million by 2022, according to a report from Allied Market Research, Portland, Oregon/Pune, India.
The report, Green Packaging Market by Packaging Type and Application: Global Opportunity Analysis and Industry Forecast, 2014-2022, notes the food and beverage segment accounts for more than three-fifths of the market. Projections call for the European region to continue leading the market, followed by North America. Driving forces include rising concerns among consumers about hygiene and health, stringent government regulations on nondegradable plastics and demand for recycled-content packaging, which is expected to grow at a CAGR of 4.92%.
Utilization of degradable raw materials has shown major growth in developed and developing nations. Bioplastics is another active segment. According to Eswara Prasad, team lead, Chemicals & Materials at Allied Market Research, “Bioplastic is a new ecological alternative to oil-based polymers with promising growth in pharmaceutical sectors.”
How2Compost Label Broadens Waste Reduction Effort
Developed in conjunction with the Biodegradable Products Institute, New York, NY, and in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s environmental marketing claims guidance, the label confirms the packaging is certified compostable. It also provides directions for composting and lists the www.how2compost.info website. For packaging that can be recycled or composted or with a mix of components, the How2Compost and How2Recycle labels can be used together.
“We have been working diligently over the past two years to bring a thoroughly vetted and consumer-tested How2Compost label to the marketplace, with the goal of helping composters receive clean streams of material required for appropriate compost manufacturing,” reports Anne Bedarf, senior manager at SPC. “As the nationwide focus on food waste and composting increases, the How2Compost label is poised to provide an important educational tool for the public on not just compostable packaging, but also the value of [the] compost manufacturing infrastructure nationwide,” she explains.
Reynolds Consumer Products, Lake Forest, IL, and Eco-Products, Boulder, CO, are the first commercial users of the label. “Reynolds has been a proud member of How2Recycle, and we are excited to join How2Compost,” says Jessica Weninger, senior manager of Innovation & Sustainability at Reynolds Consumer Products. She explains, “We hope that clarifying how our products and packaging can be recovered will encourage our consumers to participate in recycling and composting programs in their communities. We will be using the How2Compost label on our Hefty microwavable paper plates, and look forward to adding more compostable products in the future.”
Eco-Products uses the How2Compost label in conjunction with the How2Recycle label on its secondary packaging for compostable products. “When a compostable product is in a recyclable package, this can easily lead to consumer confusion,” says Sarah Martinez, sustainability maven for Eco-Products. “We know that most consumers want to do the right thing, they just need clear guidance on how to do it. The How2Compost label is an effective way to help people take part in waste diversion,” she concludes.
Compostable Foodservice Packaging Keeps Food Scraps Out Of Landfills
The use of compostable foodservice packaging can increase food scrap diversion and reduce contamination of the resulting compost, according to a study commissioned by the Paper Recovery Alliance and Plastics Recovery Group of the Foodservice Packaging Institute, Falls Church, VA.
The resulting report, Literature Review on the Impacts to the Composting Value Chain When Introducing Compostable Foodservice Packaging, indicates coordinated consumer education is key to success. The review also noted data gaps, particularly in how compostable foodservice packaging compares to natural carbon sources.
Tomatoes Rest In Tomato Plant Fiber-Enriched Packaging
Produce suppliers in Canada and France are among the first users of packaging made from solid board enriched with tomato plant fiber. Canada’s Pure Hothouse Foods Inc., Leamington, Ontario, chose the trays from Solidus Solutions, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, for the launch of its Cloud 9 snacking tomato. Idyl, Châteaurenard, France, relies on the tomato plant fiber-enriched trays for its Tribu Ecol (Ecological Tribe) brand of organic tomatoes.
The material has earned recognition on both sides of the Atlantic. It won in the Biobased Packaging category in the Packaging Europe Sustainability Awards 2016, organized by Packaging Europe magazine, and the Cloud 9 product from Pure Hothouse Foods was one of 20 finalists considered for the PMA 2016 Impact Awards, organized by the Produce Marketing Association, Newark, DE.
According to Solidus Solutions, a hectare of tomato plants yields 100,000 6-kilogram (kg) tomato trays, the exact amount needed to pack the 600 tons of tomatoes produced in the same space. The plant-fiber-enriched trays also reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Every 200 6kg boxes reduces carbon dioxide emissions the equivalent of driving 260 miles by car.
Potential sizes of the tomato plant fiber-enriched packaging include 1.5-, 3-, 5- and 10kg trays and 250- and 500-gram punnets.
About the author
Hallie Forcinio has covered packaging-related environmental topics for more than 25 years, first as an editor on Food & Drug Packaging magazine (now Packaging Strategies) and more recently as a freelance packaging journalist and principal of Forcinio Communications, an editorial services firm. “My interest in the environment dates back to a high school government class,” she notes. “I was collecting glass, newspapers and aluminum cans for recycling long before my community had a curbside recycling program.” In addition to preparing the TricorBraun Sustainability Times, she contributes articles to numerous trade publications including Pharmaceutical Technology, Dairy Foods and National Provisioner. She also serves as editorial director of the PACK EXPO Show Daily.